Celebrating Chinese New Year at the China-Mongolia border
Updated 21:55, 11-Feb-2019
Ge Ning
03:54

‍Chinese New Year celebrations are coming to an end and there were a lot of people who worked throughout the festival to make sure it went smoothly and safely, including the soldiers stationed on the border between China and Mongolia.

This year, we went to visit the soldiers stationed in the border city of Erenhot in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Our experience celebrating Spring Festival at the army camp is one we will never forget. 

Yu Chuang is one of the soldiers at this border camp. He joined this border troop in 2003 and is the most senior soldier here. This is both his 6th year away from home during Chinese New Year and his final year in the army, so this celebration means a lot to him.

Yu Chuang making dumplings. /CGTN photo

Yu Chuang making dumplings. /CGTN photo

Dumplings are a must during Chinese New Year, and as the "parent" of these young soldiers, Yu made a whole tray of dumplings for them in just a few minutes. Some of the soldiers' families have also come here to visit them, but even though the canteen was full of joy and laughter, Yu's smile was gone.

Yu Chuang's son showing CGTN a family photo. /CGTN photo

Yu Chuang's son showing CGTN a family photo. /CGTN photo

"At times like this, New Year for example, and what else, when I'm sick or whenever, things bother me and I feel down. It's not like I want them (my family) to help, I'd like to just have them next to me and see them, and have my son to call me 'dad', and I know I'd feel much better. But I can't do anything about it," Yu said.

When we hear the Overture of the Spring Festival on TV, we know the Spring Festival Gala has begun. While everyone else across China is enjoying a cosy Lunar New Year's Eve, the soldiers are ready to go back to work.

Yu Chuang and the soldiers patrolling on Chinese New Year's Eve. /CGTN photo

Yu Chuang and the soldiers patrolling on Chinese New Year's Eve. /CGTN photo

Yu has returned to the border for his patrol. When we asked him if it's worth it, he said he is very proud to be a border soldier.

“This cold means nothing to me, I feel warm in my heart whenever I think of my kid. When he grows older I want him to know that his father did this, and I think he'll be very proud of me.”

Video by Wang Zeyu and Wang Yanan.

Copyedited by Josh McNally.